By Luke Henize
Why Lou Gehrig was Famous
Lou Gehrig was famous for a number of reasons, but he was mostly famous for his outstanding baseball skills and his ability to always remain positive, even through very hard times. As a boy, Lou took a liking to sports at a very young age. He played on his high school’s baseball and football team, and played for the baseball team at Columbia University, where he went to college. He really became famous though, once the Yankees signed him to play for them. He replaced their first baseman, and earned a permanent spot in the starting lineup. Once he made it to the major leagues, he also became famous for winning many awards. Another way he was famous was because he played in over 2,000 consecutive games, and played despite anything. The second main reason that Lou was famous was because he had ALS. ALS is also known as the Lou Gehrig disease, because Lou was always positive throughout his life and didn’t let his sickness bother him.
Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man Summary
The book, Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man, is a biography about a famous baseball player. Lou Gehrig was born on June 19th, 1903, In New York City. His parents were German immigrants, so they were very poor. In school, Lou was a very good student, and he attended every day of school for eight years! Lou loved to play sports with his friends, but his mother just wanted him to study hard and get a good job. After Lou finished high school, he went to Columbia University. Lou Gehrig was a star on the baseball team, and one game, the Yankees came to watch him. Shortly after, they offered Lou a contract to play for them, and Lou accepted. Lou’s mother thought that Lou had just made the biggest mistake of his life. The first time Lou Gehrig played in a game was on June 1st, 1925. The next day, Lou replaced the first baseman, and earned a spot in the starting lineup. After that, Lou started setting an amazing record: he would play 2,130 games in a row, which would take about fourteen years! Lou Gehrig became a baseball star, playing alongside Babe Ruth and other Yankee greats. He was voted to be the American League MVP in 1927 and again in 1936. But then, In 1938, Lou Gehrig started to slump. He just couldn't hit like he used to, and couldn't field like he used to. In 1939, Lou went to a clinic in Minnesota where the doctors said he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS for short. Once he was diagnosed, Lou didn't play any more baseball games anymore, but he did stay with the team.Eventually, he stopped traveling with the team and started helping at the local parole commission, which helps former prisoners. After around a year, Lou could no longer work at any job because of his ALS. The, on Monday, June 2, 1941, Lou Gehrig died in New York City.
Lou Gehrig Childhood
Lou Gehrig had a very hard childhood. He grew up in the Yorkville section of New York, In 1903. His parents names were Christina and Heinrich Gehrig. Lou had three other siblings, Sophie, Anna, and another brother. His brother was never named because he died very shortly after he was born, and there wasn’t enough time to name him. Anna and Sophie, unfortunately, died at a very young age too. In fact, Lou was the only of the four children to grow up past infancy. His parents had just came to America from Germany a few years before, so they were very poor.When he grew up and went to school though, he was a very smart student. In grade school, he almost never missed a day at all. He also liked sports at a young age, but his mother didn’t encourage them.
Lou Gehrig was born in New York, New York, USA.
This Primary source is a picture of Lou Gehrig while he is giving his famous “Farewell Speech.” His farewell speech was a speech Lou Gehrig gave at Yankee Stadium. The fans had arranged a National Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day on July 4, 1939, to show how much they loved Lou. Lou had been diagnosed with ALS only about a month earlier. Because of this, Lou Gehrig stopped playing baseball, but he still traveled with the team. In his speech, he thanked the fans for all they had done for him in his career, and he said he was “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.” This was called Lou’s farewell speech because he was saying goodbye to all of his supporters, and soon he would die because of his ALS. Lou remained optimistic all throughout his life, before and after he got ALS, and Lou was optimistic while he was giving his speech too.
Lou Gehrig's Accomplishments and Obstacles.
Lou Gehrig was very successful in his career as a baseball player, but he also had very many challenges along the way. Lou Gehrig had countless accomplishments when he played baseball for the New York Yankees. For instance, some of his achievements are: hitting four home runs in a single game in 1932, winning the triple crown in 1934,(Which means he was the leader in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.) also, he even holds the record for most grand slams in a career with twenty-three. (A grand slam is a home run when three other teammates on the other three bases.) Lou’s challenges in his life though, are also numerous. Lou’s biggest challenge in his life was when he was diagnosed with ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. ALS was later nicknamed the Lou Gehrig Disease in honor of Lou Gehrig. Another challenge in Lou’s life is that his mother did not always support Lou in his sports career. In fact, when Lou Gehrig signed the contract the Yankees offered him, his mother was furious. What made Lou still be able to have so many accomplishments though, was because he never let anything bother him.
Lou Gehrig 3 Interesting Facts
- Lou Gehrig was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
- He hit 493 total home runs in his major league career.
- Gehrig had many other awards in his career including hitting 509 total RBI’s, playing in 2,130 consecutive games, and Lou even had an award named after him.